Neverfail Community Church Articles of Faith and Practice
There are many things on which we may not agree. The following, however, are
those things which we believe in common, giving liberty in disagreement in areas
not herein defined. Our practices are free as long as they do not conflict with
these defined beliefs. (Adopted June 3, 2001)
1) re: God- We believe in only one God, who is eternally existent, never created, self-sustaining and who is the intentional creator and sustainer and sovereign ruler of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. God is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being who is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to humanity as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
We believe that God as Father reigns with providential care over His creation, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all humanity.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus of Nazareth who is the Christ, the Son of God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying completely with mankind yet without sin. He came down from heaven, and was made man by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross He made provisions for the redemption from sin for all humanity who would choose to believe in Him. He suffered for us, was crucified and died and was buried; and on the third day He arose again according to the Scriptures, and after showing Himself to many witnesses He ascended into heaven where He now sits at the right hand of the Father, fully partaking of both the nature of God and humanity, interceding on behalf of the children of God. He shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead. His kingdom shall have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit of God who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables humanity to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He calls humanity to the Savior, and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows and empowers the spiritual gifts by which believers serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ.
2) re: The Scriptures- We believe that the Holy Bible was written by people divinely inspired and is the record of Godís revelation of Himself to humanity. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
3) re: Humanity- We believe that humanity was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning the man and the woman were innocent of sin and they were endowed by their creator with freedom of choice. By their free choice the man and the woman sinned against God and brought sin into the human race; whereby their posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin, and as soon as they are capable of moral action become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring men and women into His holy fellowship and enable them to fulfill the creative purpose of God.
4) re: Redemption and Salvation- Salvation begins with the redemption of a person from the debt incurred by their willful sin. In its broadest sense salvation includes redemption (which brings regeneration), sanctification, and glorification.
Redemption is God Himself paying the sin debt of an individual by applying the benefit of the sacrificial death of His Son to the account of that individual. This happens when that person, by faith, acknowledges and submits to Godís standard; acknowledges their personal failure to conform to Godís standard and the resulting debt incurred; acknowledges their inability to satisfy that debt and Godís willingness to satisfy the debt for the person. The person then accepts Jesusí provision through His sacrificial death to satisfy the debt and submits to Godís appointment of His Son to the position of LORD and RULER of that personís life and all creation. God by the power of His Spirit effects an instant change within the spirit of that person making them new. God graciously grants full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and surrender to the Lordship of Christ.
Sanctification is the experience, beginning with the regeneration accompanying redemption, by which the believer is set apart to Godís purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual perfection through the presence and power of Godís Holy Spirit dwelling in the believer. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate personís earthly life.
Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed in Godís presence throughout eternity to come.
5) re: Godís Purpose in Creation- Godís creation is not without purpose. God, being perfect and complete in Himself has no needs. Being by nature Creator, He expresses Himself in creating. Being perfectly loving, it is proper for there to be others to love. Being perfectly holy, it is proper for others to honor His holiness. So Godís creation exists for Him to love and for the creation to return love and worship Him. Because God created humanity with a free will, we have the choice to worship Him. Thus our worship potentially has value to Him. In order for our worship to be acceptable to God, we must worship Him as He has determined, that is in spirit and in truth. Godís creation exists to exalt and worship Him. As God is glorified, He pours blessings upon His people.
6) re: Godís Sovereignty at work in Grace and Election- God has predetermined the conditions by which He will redeem individuals, then has called all humanity to recognize and conform; which they are able to do only through the aid of the power of Godís Holy Spirit which is available to any who seek God in response to His calling. Christ died so that all people could be saved but only those who choose to believe by the help of Godís Spirit are saved. Humans are thoroughly corrupted by sin but God calls to them in their sinful state and He aids, by the power of His Holy Spirit, those who surrender and respond to His calling, . God does not override the free will He has given to individuals, so people are free to accept or reject Godís gracious work of redemption and salvation. Not those who are called, but all those who have chosen to surrender to Godís calling are then sealed by the Holy Spirit and cannot fall away. These will persevere to the end and be the saved.
7) re: The Church and Ministry- A New Testament Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local assembly or body of baptized, born-again, believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, committed to Jesusí teachings, exercising the spiritual gifts, rights, and privileges of service invested in them by Godís Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. The church is an autonomous body, operating under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, with all members equally responsible for serving in ministry and for seeking the scripturally consistent will of God. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.
8) re: Baptism and the Lordís Supper- Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is a blessed act of obedience symbolizing the believerís faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believerís death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to that personís faith in the final resurrection of the dead.
The Lordís Supper is a blessed symbolic act whereby believers, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize and proclaim the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
9) re: The Sabbath and the Lordís Day- The Lordís Day is the first day of the week commemorating the resurrection of Christ from the dead and is observed by exercises of celebration and worship and devotion, both public and private, for the purpose of bringing honor and glory to God.
The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week and is a day that God commanded to be set apart from the other six days as a day of rest. The Sabbath Day and itís rest are understood only as we study the activities of Jesus, who being Godís Son fully honored the intentions of the Father for this day.
10) re: The Kingdom of God- The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over people who willfully acknowledge and serve Him as King. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.
11) re: Last Things- God in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all people in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to hell, the place of everlasting shame and torment. Those acquitted by redemption will receive their reward and will dwell in their resurrected glorified bodies forever in heaven with the Lord.
12) re: Evangelism and Missions- It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make Christian disciples of all nations. The new birth of a personís spirit by Godís Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal witness in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
13) re: Stewardship and Lordship- God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtor-ship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve God with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemerís cause on earth.
14) re: Cooperation- Christís people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christís Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christís people.
15) re: The Christian and the Social Order- Every Christian is under obligation to seek and make the will of Christ supreme in their own life and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among people can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus. The Christian should oppose, in the spirit of Christ, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice. The Christian should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the aged, the helpless, and the sick.
16) re: Peace and War- It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all people on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war. The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His Lordship and teachings in all the affairs of people and nations, and the practical application of His law of love.
17) re: Religious Liberty- God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to his Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all people, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.
18) re: The Family- God has ordained the family as a blessing for individuals, human society and His Kingdom. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is Godís unique gift to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for blessed intimate companionship, the channel for sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in Godís image. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children Godís pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents in the Lord, and are to watch over and care for their needs in their old age. Just as we look to Him for the redemption of our individual souls, God and His great mercy and grace should be looked to in the redemption and sanctification of all of our family relationships.